Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens: In and around
Written by Maddie Simmonds (Astor Kensington)
With a combined area of 625 acres, Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens make up a beautiful green space in the very center of London and have loads of cool things to do, many of which are free and within walking distance of each other. Whether you’re looking to grab a bite to eat, do some sightseeing or just enjoy the fresh air, there’s something for everyone.
This beautiful palace located on the West side of Kensington Gardens was once home to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and is now the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Kate). You can take a tour and learn all the history of the palace and the royals who have lived there, or simply wander around the exhibitions which change regularly.
There’s also a café and a gift shop so if you’re a fan of the Royal Family it’s definitely worth a visit to pick up some memorabilia and souvenirs – open daily 10.00-16.00, tickets are cheaper online so book in advance to get the best deal.
BOATING ON THE SERPENTINE
As beautiful as the parks are in the winter, as spring comes around there are even more activities which are possible. From April, rowing and paddle boats are available to hire from the east side of the Serpentine Lake and are a great way to spend an afternoon escaping the hustle and bustle of the city and getting to see the wildlife – adult prices £12 an hour or £10 for half an hour.
ITALIAN GARDENS & CAFE
Located just next to Lancaster Gate Station at the top of the Serpentine Lake this water garden is a great place to relax and unwind in the fresh air after a long day sightseeing. The Italian Gardens themselves are made up of a series of fountains and 4 main basins and views down the Serpentine Lake so there’re loads of photo opportunities to update your Instagram with!
The café just next to the gardens has a range of food and drink on offer including pastries, cakes, sandwiches, salads and a gluten free range as well – café opens daily, bring bread to feed the ducks that call the gardens home!